Publisher’s Weekly

Thank you to Publisher’s Weekly for this short review:

GHOST HORSE
Thomas H McNeely, Author

Buddy Turner is a young Anglo boy in Houston in the 1970s. He is struggling with his family and his friends and the process of growing up. His mother and father have split up and his paternal grandmother is actively trying to keep them separated, believing his (struggling) mother trapped his (wealthy) father into a marriage just to have a child. His father is weak, pulled back and forth between his own impulses, his desire to please his mother, and his clumsy attempts to parent Buddy. Buddy is working on an animated film with his friend Alex, who is Latino, but when he gets sent to the upscale Catholic school at his grandmother’s expense, he becomes involved in a friendship with Simon, an angry Anglo boy from an abusive home. As Buddy’s home life becomes more fraught, he acts out against his friends, becoming cruel and finally betraying Alex to resolve feelings he has towards Simon. McNeely paints a vivid picture of a young protagonist struggling with adolescence, shame, guilt, and being torn between many worlds. However, at times the language is puzzlingly vague, to the point that it’s difficult to know exactly what’s going on. Readers will be pained watching Buddy being orchestrated by these different people, but they will also be frustrated by not fully understanding his actions. (Sept.)

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